Solidarity party for People's International Observers Mission (IOM) in the Philippines - Montréal

Montreal to Manila - Bayan Muna!

FRIDAY APRIL 30th 21h00 2010
'El 606' corner St. Laurent / Mount Royal
suggested donation $5-10
24 Mount Royal west
(entrance beside Ali Baba dépanneur)
Metro Mount Royal

featuring live DJs throughout the evening...
DJ Andy Williams
DJ Andy Williams is highly-respected deejay and radio host in Montreal with a growing international recognition, spinning regularly in Europe and the Caribbean. Andy's collaborations with various deejays and musicians reaches to and from many sources globally: Andy has had the opportunity to grace the turntables with many underground music-makers & curatorial peers who have the utmost respect for obscure rarities in dancefloor tracks. It wasn't easy at first playing mediums of ethnic backgrounds such as Cumbia Paseito, Mento, Avant-Garde Jazz, Funk and hard hitting Electro sounds in North America and Europe, but it's nothing new to intelligent avid listeners since the mid-century. http://ewola.com/andy.htm

DJ Julie D
Beats and breaks, fat bass, a pulsating rythmn that demand attention. Julie D. plays Electro, Dubstep, HardTek and Breakcore Ragga Jungle. She defenelty has her own styles and a good reserve of suprises. Based in her home town of Montreal for the last 7 years, Julie has in the pass collaborated in the studio with Zimo et Ataka of HardTek/Drum'n Bass outfit Zone-33. Julie is also part of various collectives that organizes parties across Montreal. As well as keeping them on the dance floor at home, Julie has made a name for herself in Venezuela. She started her dj career in Amsterdam 15 years ago with Radical Rehousing who became Zilch and continue to this day as Input Records, now based in Barcelona. She has travelled Europe in her 40 year old German army Hanomag truck and played et many parties, overground and underground for many years. So enjoy the musik!!! http://www.myspace.com/djulied

* DJ Jacob Cino

Montreal to Manila - Bayan Muna! is a benefit party for the Montreal delegation to participate in the upcoming People's International Observers Mission (IOM) in the Philippines bringing together grassroots election observers from around the world in the Philippines. People's International Observers Mission is being organized within the context of a systematic campaign of political killings in the Philippines. Hundreds of progressive activists in the Philippines killed according to Amnesty International including journalists, human rights workers, union organizers and student leaders have been systematically targeted by paramilitary and government-backed armed forces.

grassroots information on the Philippines at:
* Bulatlat  http://www.bulatlat.com/

* event sponsored by the Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns  http://cap-cpc.blogspot.com/


Montreal vigil for the victims of political killings in the Philippines

* For Immediate Release
Sunday, April 25, 2010

In the lead-up to the much anticipated Presidential elections in the Philippines, taking place in May 2010, social justice activists gathered in front of St James United Church in downtown Montreal on Saturday, April 24, 2010, to highlight the over 1000 political killings in the Philippines occurring since 2001 under the administration of current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Today, political organizers implicated in movements for social change in the Philippines are under the gun.

Amnesty International concluded in a recent report that “over recent years reports of an increased number of killings of political activists, predominately those associated with leftist or left-orientated groups, have caused increasing concern in the Philippines and internationally.”

Human rights activists held the vigil in Montreal to highlight the systemic political killings in the Philippines just two weeks before the crucial Presidential elections.

Saturday’s vigil also featured presentations from the five-person Quebec delegation traveling to the Philippines to observe May 10 Philippine elections with the Peoples’ International Observers Mission (IOM). The vigil led by Reverend Shaun E. Fryday, Minister at the Beasonsfield United Church and Fr Art Calaycay from the Philippine Independent Church (IFI).

PIOM Quebec delegate, Laura Cliche, also gave her testimony as a participant in the 2009 fact-finding mission for the Ampatuan massacre while doing an internship with the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines. Meanwhile, a street theatre paying tribute to some of the victims of political killings and enforced disappearances was also presented, along with the song Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa (Love of native land) by Bayan Canada members in Montreal.

As April 24 is also Cordillera day, the organizers of the event included a tribute to the victims of political killings among the members of the Cordillera people and played a recorded message by Dr. “Chandu” Claver, chairperson of Bayan Canada and member of the indigenous Bontoc tribe in Northern Philippines. Also present were some members of the BIBAK (Bontoc, Ifugao, Benget, Apayao, Kalinga) community in Montreal.

The event was organized to raise broad public support and awareness for the victims of the Philippine state’s Operational Plan Bantay Laya (operation “guard freedom” – a counter insurgency plan), election related violence and the important 25-person People’s International Observers Mission (PIOM) heading from Canada to the Philippines.

Event organized by :

Stop the Killings in the Philippines Campaign

BAYAN Canada (Montreal)

Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns


Vigile pour les victimes d'assassinats politiques et les disparitions forcées aux Philippines

Présentations des 5 Québécois qui iront en mission d'observation des éléctions du 10 mai aux Philippines

Quand: Samedi le 24 avril, 2010, 14 h à 16 h
Ou: l'Église unie Saint-James
, coin Ste-Catherine et rue City Councillors, en face du Future Shop (Métro McGill) à Montréal

Vigile mené par le Révérand Shaun Fryday, Ministre à l'Église unie de Beaconsfield et Père Art Calaycay de l'Église indépendante philippine (IFI)

Bienvenue à tous et toutes.
Deux semaines avant la date des éléctions présidentielles aux Philippines, venez manifester votre solidarité avec les victimes des violations des droits humains aux Philippines, et apprendre comment l'importante Mission internationale d'observation participera au déroulement du processus électoral.

Pour plus d'information - appeler Malcolm Guy au + 1 514 574 9906.
Cet évènement est organisé par la Campagne pour faire cesser les assassinats politiques aux Philippines.

Vigil for the victims of political killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines

Presentation of the 5-person Quebec delegation to observe May 10 Philippine elections

When: Saturday, April 24, 2010, 2 - 4 pm
Where: St James United Church
, 1435 Rue City Councillors (front of church on Ste Catherine St, across from Future Shop), Metro McGill, in Montréal.

Vigil led by Reverend Shaun E. Fryday, Minister at the Beaconsfield United Church and Fr Art Calaycay from the Philippine Independent Church (IFI).

All are welcome. Just two weeks before the crucial Presidential elections in the Philippines, come and show your support for the victims of the human rights violations in the Philippines, and learn about the important People's International Observers Mission (PIOM) heading to the Philippines.

For more information - Malcolm Guy @ +1 514 574-9906. Event organized by the Stop the Killings in the Philippines Campaign.


Morong 43 health workers remain defiant despite military mistreatment – exclusive photos

18 Apr 2010; Sat; 6:57 am

by: Edre Olalia

Please find below the first known public group pictures of the 43 Morong health workers. These were taken immediately after the hearing yesterday before the Morong Regional Trial Court on the issue of their transfer from a military camp to a civilian police jail. There is an obvious scheme to keep them in the hands and at the mercy of the military.

They have been in the  military camp since their illegal arrests last February 6, 2010 and have since been subjected to various forms of physical and psychological torture, threats, coercion, harassments, intimidation, repeated and endless interrogations without the presence of counsels of their choice, among others. Their families are also being surveyed, harassed and threatened. Their private doctors are arbitrarily refused entry. They are still being subjected to psychological torture and psy-war tactics and to arbitrary restrictions. Five of them are presently segregated from the rest, kept in a military safe house and are under duress and given military lawyers who eased out their counsels of choice. The latter have not been allowed to see or confer with the five since the start of March.

In spite of all of these and what they went through, they remain steadfast,  committed, now even more assertive of their rights and in a fighting, defiant yet still jolly mood as the first picture shows. It was taken at the end of the lawyers' briefing and before they were herded back to the military buses en route back to the military camp.

They shall go on fasting starting today in protest of their continued detention in the military camp and the deliberate refusal of the military to bring them to the last two hearings before the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) where they filed complaints against the military and police for atrocious human rights violations based on well-documented accounts. The military continues to defy and disrespect the CHR mandatory orders.

Please use these pictures as you deem fit. As far as we know, these are the first complete group pictures of the detainees with their lawyers. (No cameras are allowed inside the military camp, much less the taking of the detainees' pictures as a group.)

Thank you.

National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) and
Public Interest Law Center (PILC)
Counsels for the Morong 43


Morong Health workers defiant n in good spirits

Morong health workers listening to their defense lawyers

Defense lawyers briefing Morong health workers after court hearing re transfer

Defense lawyers in consultation with Morong health workers


Luing with us again in Aguilar interview

It is April 12 again, three years to the day that our friend Luing - Luisa Posa Dominado - was abducted by armed men, along with her companion Nilo Arado, and never heard of since. The driver of their van, human rights activist Leeboy Garachico, was shot in the neck and left for dead. For three years, there has been no news of the wherabouts of Luing and Nilo, despite the continuing protests, legal proceedings, mobilisations and campaigns for justice. Family, friends and comrades have marked her birthdays and anniversaries and have spent many tears and frustrations.

Cover Pagtatagpo sa Kabilang Dulo.jpg But Luing was among us once again thanks to the recent book, Pagtatagpo sa Kabilang Dulo: Panitikang Testimonial ng Desaparecidos, in which an interview done with her ten years before her disappearance by Filipino-American academic and friend Delia Aguilar was published for the first time. And we would like to share this discovery with you.

Aguilar's introduction and description of Luing captured the essence of the revolutionary woman she embodied, and we would like to quote:

"Luing's life has been an extraordinary one, an exemplar of dedication to the highest ideals of a people struggling for genuine independence and a more humane social order. Luing speaks for herself here in a way that is at once starkly simple and powerfully eloquent. Even so, I want to remark on her steadfast commitment, her "durabilty", as she puts it. I asked her a rather naive question about her previous involvement in Makibaka ( a women's organization founded in 1970) suggesting how, because of this, young women might view her as a role model. But it is neither Makibaka nor the teachers' union nor any women's group she has associated with that speaks to her gendered commitment. It is, instead, the complete absence of the slightest hint of self-importance in the telling of her life story that I find most compelling, something I have countenanced only in revolutionary women. This is not to speak of self-denial, or a weak sense of self. It is the opposite: here is someone - a woman, and to me this is key - who has come to an understanding of herself and the world around her in a way that has empowered her to give, and to give with neither the demands for praise or tribute nor the claims of sacrifice."

Aguilar's interview with Luing, revealed the accuracy of her description.

Aguilar: This label "Commander Posa", you became a legend, didn't you? Do you think that had an effect on women then, especially since you were in Makibaka? Does this have an effect on women today?

Luing: (laughs) this is only my impression, and I can't really say for sure because I'm not that involved in work with women at the moment. My impression is that in U(niversity of the) P(hilippines) and in other circles around here, if they need someone brave to speak up. (...) Whenever they need to call on someone they consider "courageous" (laughs) to speak, they invite me. I have opportunities to speak to various sectors like women, the urban poor, the peasants. I'm not sure (long pause), but probably people's initial impression is what they'd heard about me. Maybe once they see me, they realize that the myth of Commander Posa is hard to believe. (Laughs).

You see, the women who up to now have remained legends in Iloilo are the combattants; for example Teresa Magbanua, Waling-waling.

Aguilar: But that was an earlier era. For the current period it's you.

Luing: But as for women like myself, maybe the people can see for themselves that we're not really capable or up to that. (Laughs). Maybe it's just a matter of durability, that I spent more years of my life inside the movement than outside.

I joined at age 16, and now I'm 44. So the greater part of my life has been in the movement. Even in my family that's the same impression. In the beginning they were just tolerating my participation in the movement because they couldn't do much else. They couldn't convince me to quit. They were simply waiting for the time that I'd tire myself out. But in time I think they began to see that since I remained resolute, maybe that drew even just empathy with the cause. My guess is that if I weakened, the effect on them would have been different.

So maybe that's the same effect on other people. It's probably not so much the "legend" they've heard about, but what they see in you, that you still keep on going."

The interview is filled with many other thoughtful insights from Luing and is a revealing reflection of the period - 1999, a period following the turmoil and change in the movement to which she devoted her life. Her interview reveals some of the lessons drawn from struggles that had rocked the movement, and the steadfastness of her own commitment.

The movement is alive and well, as this entire book shows. It is filled with testimonials, poems, tributes, stories, including the writings of Luing's two wonderful daughters, MayWan and Tamara, along with those of the families and relatives of so many others - Leo Velasco, James Balao, Jonas Burgos, Karen Empeno - men, women who had such an important impact on those around them whose 'life blood is trickling into people's consciousness', as Bebing, another friend of Luing says.

Another good friend, Aya Santos, a spokesperson for Desaparecidos, writes to her father thus: "Along the way, while searching for you, I have encountered others who are also searching for their son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father or even both parents.... We understand each other's feelings: we know how painful it is to long for missing parents. We share the same rage against your abductors and their bosses and this repressive system. (...) We are the children of the Desaparecidos. We are also the chidren whose parents have fought for their principles and have served the oppressed."

Rose Arado, the wife of Nilo Arado, who was abducted at the same time as Luing, writes on their wedding anniversary: "I cannot light a dinner candle for two and embrace you tightly. This night will be cold, but I will just keep the flame of courage burning in my heart to give me the strength each day as I wait eagerly for your safe return. (...) When you opted to live a life with the oppressed, just like Luisa, you knew the consequence of being tagged a communist, terrorist, a destabiliser, a threat to the society. This is the price of being faithful to the cause of building a just and humane society. This is truly a nobel endeavour. And I have never regretted that we are together in this cause. And until that night of April 12, when some unidentified armed men forcibly abducted you and Luisa, I almost couldn't believe that we are now starting to face the fascist attacks of this regime. (...) My love, on this day, I will make a vow to myself. I am reaffirming my love to you as my husband, as the father of DM, and as my comrade in the service of the people."

The testimonials, most in Tagalog and a few in English, are an inspirational read and leave one filled with hope, and the conviction that the truth cannot be snuffed out by killing those that dare to say it, that on the contrary, it spreads all the more like fire or a virus. Fan the fire! Catch the truth!

Published by the group Desaparecidos and the Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center, the book, Pagtatagpo sa Kabilang Dulo: Panitikang Testimonial ng Desaparecidos, is available from those organizations and in Canada from the Centre for Philippine Concerns in Montreal.

Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy
Montréal, April 12, 2010

See our short film about Luing and the disappeared:
Philippines: Democracy that kills
envoyé par Productions_Multi-Monde. - Regardez les dernières vidéos d'actu.


Michelle Smith defends her thesis successfully

Congratulations go out to our dear colleague and friend and long-time CAP-CPC member and supporter, Michelle Smith, who successfully defended her Master of Communications Thesis at Concordia University on Tuesday, April 6, 2010.

Her thesis, "I'm Métis because I say that I am: Constructing Collaborative Autoethnographies" was the result of over two years research and work, and part of Michelle's own exploration of her Métis roots. The multi-disciplinary thesis, which included an experimental film, a written dissertation, and a youth video creation workshop resulting in a series of short films by Métis students, is groundbreaking in both form and content. Her thesis committee was enthusiastic in accepting it.

Hearty congratulations to Michelle from your friends at the Centre for Philippine Concerns!


Michelle Smith réussi sa défense de mémoire

Félicitations à notre chère collègue et amie Michelle Smith, qui vient de réussir la défense de son mémoire pour la Maitrise en Communications à l'Université Concordia le mardi, le 6 avril 2010!

Son mémoire, intitulé "I'm Métis because I say that I am: Constructing Collaborative Autoethnographies"(Je suis Métis parce que je le dit: La construction d'une autoenthnographie collaborative) est le résultat de deux années de recherche et de travail. Il est aussi le résultat d'une démarche personnelle de Michelle pour explorer ses propres racines de Métis. Le mémoire multi-disciplinaire incluait un court métrage vidéo expérimental, une dissertation écrite, et un atelier de formation video donné par Michelle à un groupe de jeunes Métis de Winnipeg, aboutissant en une collection de courts métrages.

Son mémoire est innovateur tant dans sa forme que dans son contenue. Le Comité d'examen l'a accueilli avec enthousiasme.

Toutes nos félicitations à Michelle de tes ami-e-s au Centre d’appui aux Philippines!


Canada to send 22 observers for Philippine elections in May

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Twenty-two Canadian citizens, including representatives from churches, labour unions, academics, lawyers and a sitting Member of Parliament, Don Davies, are preparing to head to the Philippines as part of an international observers mission during that country's upcoming Presidential elections.

On election day, scheduled for May 10, 2010, more than 17,000 offices will be contested across the country including the key posts of President, Vice President along with representatives to the House of Representatives, the Senate, and a range of provincial, municipal, and local offices.

The election will mark the end of the Presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whose nine years in power have been marked by hundreds of politically motivated killings and enforced disappearances, along with a climate of impunity for those guilty of the crimes, as revealed by Philip Alston in his April 2008 Report of the United Nations-Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The People's International Observers Mission (PIOM), to take place May 7 to 15, 2010, will monitor and investigate electoral fraud and violence, particularly since this is the first nationwide automated election in the Philippines.  The goal is to assure that voters are protected and free to vote according to their conscience and that democratic processes are fully respected.

The Mission is organized by civil society groups in the Philippines, including churches, human rights advocates, lawyers and other non-governmental organizations.

Randall Garrison, an elected City Councillor from Esquimalt, B.C. and Mission member said, "The way Canadians have answered the call for this mission shows our strong concern for the deterioration of democracy and human rights in the Philippines.”

“The Philippines has a long history of election fraud, manipulation and violence, exemplified by the horrific massacre near the town of Ampatuan on the island of Mindanao late last year in which 52 people were killed in cold blood, including a record 30 journalists,” he said.

Garrison concluded, "The role of the Mission is to help ensure and to assess whether the conditions exist for the conduct of a free, fair and credible election in which Philippine citizens fully exercise their right to vote."

The eight-member delegation from British Columbia also includes Professor Valerie Raoul and health worker Ron Jeffries. Six delegates from five provinces are active with the United Church of Canada (UCC), including Omega Bula, Executive Minister of the UCC-Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit and Shaun E. Fryday, ordained Minister at Beaconsfield United Church in Quebec. Priscillia Lefebvre will attend as a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 4600 in Ottawa.

For further information and interviews contact Beth Dollaga in Vancouver at +1 604 320-0285

Pour plus d'informations et entrevues in français contacter Malcolm Guy à Montreal au +1 514 574-9906.

-- 30 --

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines statement on the continued detention of the Morong 43

The illegal arrest and continued detention of the “Morong 43” in a military facility represent serious threat to the civil liberties of the Filipino people. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) follows with grave concern the shifting accusations of the military against the health workers, the conflicting positions of government authorities on the legitimacy of the arrest and detention, and the seeming lack of regard of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for human rights and the rule of law.

We are deeply worried about the wellbeing of the health workers in Camp Capinpin. We share the sentiments of other human rights groups that the presence of the detainees in a military camp makes them vulnerable to further abuses, psychological tortures, threats, and intimidation. Sustained exposure to psychosomatic strains may eventually break the fortitude and resistance of the Morong 43 into admitting under duress the accusations made against them.

The fact that the necessary defense against torture and human rights abuses has been rendered null by Court of Appeals (CA) elevates the concerns of the Church on the delivery of justice for the accused. Even assuming the legal correctness of the “Ilagan Doctrine” invoked by CA in denying the writ of habeas corpus to the detainees, we are still troubled by the reality that the Court has just, in effect, sanitized and legitimized the violations committed by the military against the health workers.
However, CA’s decision in itself does not remove the taint of an unlawful arrest and detention. The three ruling justices failed to recognize the nature of the arrest, which is deemed illegal because of a defective search warrant and the glaring contradictions in the military officers’ statements.

Similarly, the credibility of the inquest proceedings and the subsequent filing of charges are in doubt because the accused were denied counsel during interrogation, and the fact that statements or confession obtained during an illegal arrest are not admissible.

The issue is no longer about the Morong 43’s involvement or noninvolvement with the NPA nor about the veracity of torture claims of the detainees. The issue is a fundamental one about the importance of government institutions maintaining an objective distance and observing the rule of law in its operations.

Instead of calling for an end to CHR’s inquiry on human rights violations committed against the Morong 43, the AFP should support the initiative as concerned groups are only trying to shed light on the unlawful activities taking place in military operations.

The Church acknowledges the armed forces’ efforts and difficulties in putting an end to communist resistance, but under no circumstances can state agencies deal with citizens in any manner as they please.

Most of the Church’s development programs and ministries are community-based. Our clergy and laity work in rural areas and empower far-flung communities. Now, we could not help but fear that one day our efforts to help the poor and the marginalized will be perceived as threats, and that we may also be branded as insurgents.

This is the moment to press for answers and to demonstrate that there is a growing public demand, including from the Church, to restore the integrity of the government institutions—the military, the police, the civil courts, and the Department of Justice—and remind them of their mandate and fundamental principle, which is to impartially protect and defend the human rights.

For the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines,
Bishop of Tandag
CBCP President
7 April, 2010